MANILA - Three years after he was sacked, former chief PAGASA weatherman Prisco Nilo is still very much in the mind of President Aquino.
Aquino brought him up again to demonstrate the "reforms" his administration has carried out since he assumed office, this time in a speech before Canadian tourists and balikbayans visiting the Philippines during the winter in the West.
Without naming Nilo, Aquino faulted him anew for making a wrong predicition of where a typhoon would make landfall, referring to typhoon "Basyang" in 2010 that hit Southern Tagalog and Metro Manila instead of Aurora as predicted.
Aquino said things have changed since then, taking pride in PAGASA's current typhoon tracking capabilities.
"We have gone a long way. For instance, when we started, we had a weather bureau that had at its head somebody who felt he was the best friend of God. When he decided where a typhoon track would follow, he expected this typhoon track to follow his dictates," Aquino said.
"Now we have a weather bureau who can accurately tell you precisely where it will fall, what the wind's (direction) would be, what the rainfall would be. More importantly, we have a Department of Science and Technology that is able to translate all of these data and make our citizens even more prepared than what they were," he added, citing the color-coded system of warning the public of the expected amount of rainfall.
The President also counted among his accomplishments the reforms made in the DPWH, construction projects including the NLEX-SLEX connector, the country's investment grade status, higher job placement rate of TESDA graduates, and the conditional cash transfer program.
Meantime, Aquino also thanked Canada and the Filipino community there for their aid for victims of typhoon "Yolanda."